“Impunity” … A bitter harvest haunts abused Libyan women

“Impunity” … A bitter harvest haunts abused Libyan women

7 women died in “family” accidents during the Eid holiday

Monday – 19 Dhul-Hijjah 1443 AH – 18 July 2022 AD

Houria Al-Turman, Minister of Women’s Affairs in the interim “unity” government, mediates with a group of Libyan women (Ministry)

Cairo: Jacqueline Zaher

Libyan circles are still in shock after the murder of 7 women of different ages in separate incidents of “domestic violence” in the country during the Eid al-Adha holiday, amid fears of impunity.
Some Libyan lawyers believe that the scenes of the fall of 7 women in the country sum up the current situation, noting that the officials’ interest in Libya is focused on the struggle for power and wealth without paying attention to the rising rates of to investigate and address violence against women and their causes, and they demanded the amendment of laws to protect women and the speed of recovery of the Libyan state.
In addition to the crimes Libya has experienced in the past week, the Director of the Women’s Office at the National Institution for Human Rights, Zahia Ali Al-Manfi, indicated that women’s and human rights organizations were monitoring the killings of 50 women in domestic violence. during the period from 2020 to now, which has made the recent crimes against women “almost ordinary”.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Minafi attributed the increase in these crimes “to the ease with which the offender escapes punishment due to several factors, including entrenching the culture of shame and patriarchal and patriarchal authority in which community, including members of the police, handle these matters, ”and point out that this can be followed by“ turning to the sheikh of the tribe to reconcile and close the file, as well as the attempt of some sheikhs to justify the incident. what the offender was enchanting at the time of the crime, although it is not a legal basis or excuse. ”
Speaking on the lack of action in issuing legislation, she said: “There is a law designed to criminalize violence against women and has been sitting in the House of Representatives for two years, despite the presence of ‘ a large bloc of women in the latter, “and notes that the continuation of some articles in the Penal Code related to” murder and ill-treatment to preserve honor to be a safe passage. ” to get away with it.
And she continued: “The lawyers for the accused are quick to portray any crime as a honor crime, whatever the motives behind it, whether it is a legacy like the case of Salwa Muhammad who was killed by her brother in Benghazi was killed, or asking for money for drug addiction. “
Al-Minafi further said that most of the victims of violence or murder by their husbands in particular often belong to families that have no influence, explaining: “The husband usually fears the revenge of his wife’s family if their tribe or professional influence , and on the other hand, some men in those families The socially strong, as well as those who hold positions in prominent armed formations, may not hesitate to abuse their wives or sisters, or attack others in their work environment on the basis of the protection of the tribe and their armed formation. ”
Regarding Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Benghazi, dr. Jazia Shaiter, she pointed out that the rising rates of domestic violence against women are related to some countries in the region in general, not just Libya, “with the increase in drug abuse rates and the proliferation of weapons, phenomena that after 2011 a has seen expansion in the Libyan situation as a result of conflicts and security disturbances. “
She told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the instability of the political situation and the repeated outbreaks of conflicts over the past 11 years have not only led to the financial impoverishment of the citizen through the flight of investment companies, the cutting off of livelihoods, the increase in unemployment or forced relocation at times, but also hampered the amendment of legislation to improve the protection of women. “
Shaiter continued: “The result is that most sentences imposed on incidents of murder or prejudice against women have been reduced or suspended to portray the case as a felony without taking up the burden of proving this allegation in in the light of the conservative culture of society. “
The law professor highlighted the impact of the rise of ideological currents after the “February Revolution” and its effects on increasing discrimination against women and creating a culture that is hostile to them and supportive of canceling their profits. And the existence of ongoing efforts to this day to prevent women from accepting the judiciary, in addition to the campaigns launched to distort human rights and cultural organizations.
Shaiter has demanded the amendment of some legal articles, such as section 14 of the Penal Code, which stipulates that the provisions of the Penal Code do not (in any way prejudice the personal rights determined by Islamic law), as some try to use them. by linking them to the issue of the husband’s discipline of his wife, and how it is a lawful right, and so even if He had beaten her so badly that he had an attempt to escape.
The Ministry of State for Women of the temporary “unity” government issued a statement monitoring the names of the seven victims, the date and place of their deaths. The ministerial statement called on the competent authorities to take the necessary strict legal measures to end what is called a “nightmare” that threatens the safety and security of female citizens, and the speedy arrest and liability of the perpetrators. stop.
Asma Al-Khoja, a member of the Women and Children’s Committee in the Libyan House of Representatives, in turn said that the conditions of society in general, and women in particular, “will not see a clear improvement” not unless the state recovers and a united government expands its authority over the whole country. “
She told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is important, in addition to the laws, that there is harmony and coordination between the authorities, in addition to the presence of unified security agencies implementing it,” noting that “this has not been achieved. in the midst of so much pressure and conflict that the country is witnessing. ”


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